Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Send in the Clowns: Five Questions with Dave Honigman

The cast of Pinocchio in a light-hearted moment: (L to R) Joe DeSoto, Jennifer Carroll, Dave Honigman, Kevin Klein and Tyler Bremer.

The Theatre for Young Audiences production of Pinocchio follows the naughty puppet as he learns what it takes to be a real boy. Like most coming-of-age stories, Pinocchio goes on a journey, learns lessons and reaches his full potential.

Cast member Dave Honigman brings his own acting journey full circle by returning to South Coast Repertory for this production. Honigman started down the road to acting at SCR's Young Conservatory and later went to Los Angeles, where he became a member of the clown troupe, Four Clowns, and continued his studies at iO West. Later this year, he will join Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as a traveling clown.

As he headed into Pinocchio performances, Honigman took some time to look back at his early years with SCR.

What drew you into acting?
I started acting because I wanted to become a spy! The films Ace Ventura and Mission: Impossible inspired me to take on fun, active characters. But, it turns out that theatre and film are much safer for playing pretend than in the actual fields of espionage.

Honigman in the 2004 Junior Players production of 1212
What brought you to SCR's Theatre Conservatory?
Though I enjoyed gymnastics and music as a child, I found those skills were best used in performance. So, my mom enrolled me in SCR's Young Conservatory, which lead to being a part of both the Junior and Teen Players productions.

What were some of your take-aways from the Conservatory?
SCR taught me how to use my body, voice and mind as tools so that I could be larger-than-life on stage. I came to learn that art imitates life and vice versa, so theatre can be used for any aspect of life. Any time I get nervous or have a task at hand, I remember lessons I learned here: listen, react on impulse, focus on your breath, be here now, you and the group are equally essential and everyone wants you to succeed!

What's a highlight from your early years at SCR?
I was honored to play Ebenezer as a boy in SCR's annual production of A Christmas Carol. I hope someday to play Ebenezer as a Young Man—and maybe even Scrooge himself one day!

What has been the best part about working on Pinocchio?Pinocchio has been so fun! SCR chose such an adventurous show to produce! We've had plenty of fun under the direction of Jeremy Aluma. As clowns, we love to incorporate the audience as much as possible into our shows. In a way, it has been a challenge not to goof off and make each other laugh too much! I think that kids—and everyone—will love this because they'll be able to see what a little imagination can do.

Learn more about Pinocchio

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